Experience the magic of authentic Andean weaving, from the shearing process of the llamas and sheep all the way to the final product. The vivid colors of the clothing worn by the villagers of Amaru come from natural dyes extracted from plants and other organic elements. The weavers create fantastic geometric shapes that enclose ancient Incan codes. The communities knit their identity, customs and desires - creating a conversation with them by means of visual patterns. The Amaru villagers will teach you how to speak this language through textiles as you build your own design with their help.
Decoding the Andean Textile
We will depart Cusco at 8:30 AM after breakfast in the hotel. After a 1-hour drive to the Sacred Valley town of Pisac, we will take a canyon road to the village of Amaru. We will arrive in Amaru at approximately 10:00 AM, and we will be greeted by an amazing community reception ceremony complete with traditional music and beautiful Incan flowers (Kantu). This ceremony represents an offering to the “Pacha Mama” (Mother-Earth in Quechua) to thank her for this new day and the chance for people of different cultures to share an intercultural experience together.
After the welcoming ceremony, we will begin “Decoding the Andean Textile.” This starts with an explanation of all the different organic materials used to make the natural dyes – which plants they come from, what is their symbolism, and what other uses they have (many have medicinal qualities as well). The second activity is the shearing, cleaning and the coiling of the sheep or alpaca wool that is used in the textiles – followed by a demonstration of how the wool is dyed by boiling. The iconography that is used in these textiles is extremely important to the villagers of Amaru – and throughout the duration of this activity, a local guide will explain the most important motives of each symbol that is weaved into the textile. You get to choose the symbols that will be included in your textile, and if you are brave enough – you can even weave your own fabric (however, be aware that this becomes an all-day activity if you chose to do so). Once the demonstration is concluded, you will get the chance to purchase beautiful, local textiles all made locally and authentically (Table runners, scarfs, purses, belts, bracelets, etc.).
We will break at 1:00 for an amazing lunch consisting of local cuisine prepared fresh with local ingredients.
After lunch, passengers will have the choice to work on their textiles under the guidance of a local weaver or take a nature hike through the community with a local guide in which they will observe local flora and fauna, lagoons above the community, and amazing Andean landscapes. At 4:30 PM, we will depart for Cusco.
Rural Tourism Overnight
Rural homestay accommodations are available. They are clean and comfortable, and bathrooms with running water and hot showers are provided. Dinner will be provided and before eating, passengers will be treated to a unique intercultural presentation with local dancing, Andean poetry and storytelling, and a warm campfire. You can relax under the starry sky and truly become part of the rural Andean lifestyle for a night.